3 sleepers to keep an eye on in the 2022 NFL Draft

Pierre Strong Jr. #20 of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Pierre Strong Jr. #20 of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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NFL Draft
WanDale Robinson #1 of the Kentucky Wildcats in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

1. Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Kentucky

ADP: 96. 7 via Pro Football Focus

Now, to be fair, this one is kind of cheating since PFF has him projected to fall just inside of the top 100. Although, since most other networks see him getting drafted well into the fourth round, I felt he was a fair addition to the list of 2022 NFL Draft sleepers.

Wan’Dale Robinson was one of the most dynamic players in the country last season, as a member of the first team All-SEC, and even emerging as a finalist for the Paul Horning Award. Handed out annually to the player that exhibits the most versatile skill set and consistently performs at a high level.

Prior to joining the Wildcats in 2021, Robinson was a former four-star recruit at the running back position and a finalist for the All-American Bowl Player-of-the-Year in 2019. As such, he was one of the more coveted high school players in the nation, ranked as the second-best all-purpose back in the country and the number one recruit in the state of Kentucky.

But instead of picking a program close to home, Robinson instead chose to take his talents over to the Big Ten and join the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2019. As a freshman, he quickly displayed his dual-threat capability, finishing with 453 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns on 40 receptions, while also rushing for 340 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. So, his versatility was felt right from the get-go.

Then in 2020, he still managed to put up 461 receiving yards on 51 catches, and 240 rushing yards on 240 attempts, despite his season getting cut down to just 8 games due to the pandemic. Averaging over 9 yards per reception and 5 yards per carry leading up to his junior year in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Which is when he finally made the decision to come back home and join the Kentucky Wildcats in 2021, where Wan’Dale Robinson would soon start to become a household name. He immediately exploded onto the scene, absolutely obliterating single-season records, putting up 1,334 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns on 104 receptions, as well as 111 yards on just 7 rushing attempts.

He also put together five 100-yard receiving games in 2021, which ranks second on the UK single-season list. In his first full year as a full-time receiver, nonetheless.

While some do have concerns over his 5’8″ 178-pound frame. As a quick-twitch athlete that can make defenders miss at a moment’s notice, there are plenty of ways to utilize his skillset in the modern NFL.

Plus, outside of his obvious explosiveness and ability to play just about any position on the field, he also already has experience competing in an NFL-style offense. Since Kentucky’s former OC, Liam Coen ran the Wildcats’ offense that led to Robinson’s break-out campaign in 2021, and now he’s the OC for the reigning Super Bowl champion, Los Angeles Rams.

As a dangerous deep-threat receiver with the versatility to play inside, outside, or anywhere in between. If Wan’Dale Robinson lands with a franchise like the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, or Los Angeles Rams late in round four, opposing teams should be very, very afraid.

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